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textual harassment also text stalking

noun [uncountable]

the activity of sending text messages to mobile phones which insult or abuse people

text stalking


'A schoolgirl has won a landmark injunction banning her 20-year-old boyfriend from sending her text messages on her mobile phone … The case highlights … the disturbing trend of so-called textual harassment.'

Daily Mail March 2001

'Threatening text messages are particularly frightening because stalkers have unlimited access to their victims … One of the worst aspects of text stalking, says Melanie, was not being able to avoid the messages.'

Cosmopolitan magazine July 2002

Textual harassment has recently been identified as a new form of socially dysfunctional behaviour, not just in adult relationships but even amongst teenagers, where it has been perpetrated as an alternative to bullying.

Background – textual harassment

In fact, the term textual harassment was in use even before the evolution of the mobile-phone-oriented society of the new millennium. It has been applied in various contexts, including the suppression of written expression of political views. Textual harassment has also been used to describe a form of sexual discrimination which attempts to disguise or deny female authorship.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

This article was first published on 17th February 2003.

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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